[Foundation] JSF == Jabber Standards Foundation?

Matt Tucker matt at jivesoftware.com
Wed May 28 08:01:06 CDT 2003


> Also as JoeH has already said even
> Jabber, Inc have to explain the difference just like everybody else I would
> expect people might be saying things like "why should we buy your product
> when their is a free jabber server?", its virtually the same difference for
> you IMO.

Heh. It's really not the same thing at all. If Joe is out there 
explaining the difference every day, that's commendable and a service to 
our community. However, it also proves our point. :)

>>Out of the Open Source and non-commercial people I've talked to -- they
>>are generally fond of the Jabber name but don't believe that it's right
>>that an open standard be branded the same as a commercial company.
> Well then why dont they speak up, without that im not inclined to believe
> you.

They have.

  Ive got a feeling it will hurt the companies that stop participating more
> than it will hurt Jabber as a whole, if you have unwilling to promote your
> product as XMPP/Jabber others will take your place in the market since if
> you just support the basic XMPP protocol without the enhancements we are
> producing here and introduce your own "extensions" to replace those you will
> not be interoperable with the rest of the community, hurt your users and
> hurt yourselfs by driving your customers to people who are Jabber compliant.

The important distinction is our current community vs the marketplace 
and the rest of the internet. To the larger groups, it's the IETF 
standard that is the important thing. It's our extensions to XMPP that 
have to gain market acceptance and credibility, not the other way 
around. We just don't think that's possible with the current branding.

> Again the press does not represent the marketplace as a whole, the press
> will always be the first to adopt the latest buzz words (XMPP) as it is a
> way for them to spark interest in their stories and so they seem to be up to
> date, just because the press use it doesnt mean the entire marketplace sees
> it this way. Take a look for yourself and see how many more sites google
> finds with "Jabber" in them compared to XMPP (by my count 725,000 with
> "Jabber" in them, 9,500 with "XMPP") quite a difference, and goes completely
> against what you are stating as fact.

The Google argument isn't really a very strong one. First, "Jabber" is 
not only a term for IM, but is also:

1) To talk rapidly, unintelligibly, or idly.

2) An error in which a faulty device (usually a NIC ) continuously 
transmits corrupted or meaningless data onto a network.

3) A sent data packet greater than the maximum 1518 bytes specified in 
IEEE 802.3.

...among other things. So, it's pretty hard to narrow down exactly how 
many hits Jabber the protocol has. "Jabber IM" returns 266K hits. 
"Jabber protocol" returns 37K hits. Try a search for ICQ, though -- 10.6 
million hits for a non-generic word. Of course, "SIMPLE" gets 41.2 
million hits, so I suppose we should all be very scared. ;)

Interestingly, try a search for "Jabber definition", as I think it 
speaks to the confusion that many of us see every day (and that Joe 
mentioned). Through this discussion, you and others have created a 
precise definition of what Jabber is -- extensions to the XMPP protocol 
that are created by the JSF. However, this is a very different meaning 
than what the term has had over time:

  a) An Open Source project (still the case in general, although not 
quite the same as it was in the early days).
  b) A company and their products (still the case).
  c) A full, open IM protocol (no longer the case -- now the core is 
XMPP since the IETF rejected commercially encumbered terminology).
  d) Extensions to XMPP core created by the JSF (new terminology).

Do you honestly think that most people that currently know about 
"Jabber" would give definition (d)? Probably only people that have been 
paying attention to this mailing list thread would, while many 
developers would say (c), and most end users and business people would 
say (a) or (b).

As for the press -- I think they serve as the best microcosm for how the 
marketplace will act. XMPP is currently an IETF *draft* and has already 
replaced Jabber as the "correct" terminology in the press when talking 
about upcoming IM standards. Once XMPP is an actual standard, then it 
will become a term that will take off everywhere else, especially since 
no commercial users have an incentive to use the Jabber brand.

> As PSA has already said calling anything we do outside the IETF as XMPP is
> simply not an option.

As far as I know:

  1) That is Peter's personal opinion and isn't substantiated.
  2) The IETF actually has no control over this. XMPP is open 
terminology not under trademark. We can do what we want when it gets 
right down to it. :)

Even if we can't use XMPP in our name for some reason:

  1) It doesn't mean we should still use "Jabber" -- there are many 
other good options. Some have already been proposed in previous emails.
  2) We can still call our protocol extensions "XMPP extensions" if we 
want to -- it's factually and logically correct.

> Anyway as I already said in my previous message (which you seem to have cut
> out for some reason), why dont you just put your energy into your proposal
> and we will all take a vote

Yes, I apologize for cutting that out from your last email. We have been 
working on a proposal and will be brining it to the membership soon.


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